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Today is International Women’s Day
Women losing battle of the heart

New Delhi, March 7
“On International Women’s Day, we want to spread this message that heart problem is just not a man’s disease. There is a greater incidence of heart attack without symptoms —silent heart attack— in women than in men,” said Dr Ashok Seth, chief Cardiologist of Max Heart and Vascular Institute.

He said increasingly world over younger women are suffering more from heart-related problems. “Women have become more prone to heart attacks. Earlier, the incidences among women would start from the age of 60 years, but now a women of 30 complains of heart problems,” he told PTI.

“This western phenomenon is now being seen in India too,” he said. In the western countries, women suffer cardiac problems one and a half times more than men, he said.

“Over the last 30 years, the chances of women experiencing the problem has gone up three times more in India,” he said, adding that more awareness and education is needed among women as they tend to neglect their own health.

“We want to send this message on this day that women’s health is more important to this nation as she is not only looking after her family but the health of the nation depends on her,” he added.

According to Dr Ganesh K Mani, cardiac surgeon and Chairman of the Delhi Heart and Lung Institute, women are unaware that heart disease is one of the greatest threat to their lives. “Thirty-five per cent of women and 18 per cent of men heart attack survivors will have another heart attack within six years, while 46 per cent women, 22 per cent of men heart attack survivors will be disabled with heart failure within six years,” he said.

Breast cancer ‘hits poor hardest’

Women should regularly examine their breasts Women from deprived backgrounds are treated differently and have a lower breast cancer survival rate than more affluent women, a study suggests. The charity Cancer Research UK studied nearly 13,000 patients from England’s Northern and Yorkshire health regions.

It found deprived women were less likely to be diagnosed in the early stages of disease, when treatment is most likely to be effective.

To raise awareness, the American Heart Association launched “Go Red for Women” under which they are educated about the signs and symptoms of heart disease, which differs from men, Mani said.

“We need similar awareness campaigns in the country as the incidences here are rising sharply. And the best day would be March 8 when the International Women’s Day is observed.” He said women, especially those who have crossed the menopause stage, should become proactive and take steps to reduce their risk for heart diseases, even before the symptoms occur, he said.

Symptoms of heart disease differ in men and women. While men are more likely to have “typical” chest pain consisting of central chest location, aggravation by exertion, and relief by rest, women on the other hand, are more likely than men to report chest pain during rest, sleep or periods of mental stress.

He said women who smoke risk having a heart attack 19 years earlier than non-smoking women. — PTI

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